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The Elizabeth Gaskell Collection
- A BBC Drama Collection Including North and South, Wives and Daughters & More
- Narrated by: full cast, Jodie Comer, David Threlfall, Emily Mortimer, Sue Johnston, Kenneth Cranham, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Paul Copley, Rebecca Front
- Length: 23 hrs and 9 mins
- Radio/TV Program
- Categories: Literature & Fiction, Classics
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A collection of BBC Radio dramatisations of Elizabeth Gaskell's well loved novels - plus bonus material
Elizabeth Gaskell was one of Victorian England's pre-eminent female novelists. Admired by Charles Dickens, who described her as his 'dear Scheherazade', she mingled storytelling and social realism to superb effect in her highly acclaimed fiction.
This comprehensive collection comprises dramas and readings of her finest works and some lesser-known pieces. Among the adaptations are her final, unfinished novel Wives and Daughters, her debut novel Mary Barton and her only historical novel, Sylvia's Lovers; as well as the 1851 novella Mr Harrison's Confession (a prequel to Cranford), and her great novel of industrialisation, female independence and identity, North and South. All feature star casts including Emerald O'Hanrahan, Sue Johnston, Jodie Comer, Emily Mortimer, Rod Hudd, David Threlfall and Julian Rhind-Tutt.
Also included are readings of Mrs Gaskell's chilling supernatural tale 'The Old Nurse's Story', her much-loved novel of life in a small town and its female inhabitants, Cranford, her festive short story 'Christmas Storms and Sunshine' and her final novella, Cousin Phillis.
Based on true events, Stephen Wakelam's detective drama Death at the Bed End, starring Kenneth Cranham, explores the controversy surrounding Elizabeth Gaskell's biography of Charlotte Brontë and the libel threat that followed its publication. Also included are Mrs Gaskell: Portrait of a Victorian Novelist by Barry Campbell; inspired by the author’s letters. And in Great Lives: Elizabeth Gaskell, historian Amanda Vickery and biographer Jenny Uglow discuss Mrs Gaskell's life, work and achievements with presenter Francine Stock.
Cast and credits
Written by Elizabeth Gaskell
Written by Stephen Wakelam
Dramatised by Lavinia Murray. Produced and directed by Claire Grove and Tracey Neale
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 15 September-9 November 2001
Mr Harrison's Confessions
Adapted for radio by Jeremy Front. Produced and directed by Sally Avens.
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 27 June 1988
'The Old Nurse's Story'
Produced by Kay Patrick. First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 24-25 May 1984
North and South
Dramatised by Charlotte Keatley.
Directed by Michael Fox.
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 29 June 1997
Dramatised by Ellen Dryden. Produced and directed by Pauline Harris.
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 6-13 March 2016
Wives and Daughters
Dramatised by Theresa Heskins. Produced and directed by Peter Leslie Wild
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 29 November-10 December 2010
Produced by Trevor Hill. First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 1 September - 6 October 1969
Produced by Julian Wilkinson. First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 1 November 2019
'Christmas Storms and Sunshine'
Produced by Simon Richardson. First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 21 December 2018
Death at the Bed End
Written by Stephen Wakelam.
Directed by Janet Whitaker.
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 4 December 2004
Mrs Gaskell: Portrait of a Victorian Novelist
Written by Barry Campbell based on Elizabeth Gaskell: A Biography by Winifred Gérin. Permission granted by Oxford Publishing Ltd (Academic), Oxford University Press (via PLSclear). Produced by James Runcie. First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 21 August 1983
Great Lives: Mrs Gaskell
Presented by Francine Stock
With Amanda Vickery and Jenny Uglow. First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 20 May 2005